The MHAC’s Northeast Hub members represent seven counties: Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit. Local work gives MHAC members the opportunity to advocate on issues impacting their regional communities and to interact with other regional member organizations to create a cohesive voice.
Meetings & Events
The MHAC hosts quarterly Northeast Hub Policy & Advocacy Committee meetings, open to all Northeast Hub members for in-person or teleconference attendance. This Committee works to move forward the seven priority areas of the Northeast Hub Advocacy Agenda, and works with MHAC staff every two years to develop a new Advocacy Agenda addressing key local issues related to mental health and addiction disorders.
The Northeast Hub Substance Use Disorders & Addictions Subcommittee, under the umbrella of the Policy & Advocacy Committee, also meets quarterly and is open to all Northeast Hub members for in-person or teleconference attendance. This Subcommittee focuses on the Substance Use Disorders and Other Addictions pillar of the Northeast Hub Advocacy Agenda.
The 2023-2024 Northeast Hub Advocacy Agenda priorities include:
- Local Funding and Support for Mental Health & Addiction Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services – The MHAC will maintain up-to-date research on county budgets, budgeting processes, and budget and other allocations for mental health and addiction services in the Northeast Hub so that it can effectively advocate for sustained or increased support for mental health and addiction prevention, treatment, services, and capital projects. This research will be used as a tool for to advocate for passage of levy and tax issues, as well as county budget and other allocations, within the Northeast Hub that support behavioral health prevention, treatment, and support services. Finally, the MHAC will continue to educate that behavioral health is health.
- Children and Adolescents – The MHAC will research and advocate for opportunities and resources to fill in service gaps and increase access to children’s behavioral health services. It will also research and then advocate for opportunities and programming that support the successful transition of adolescents with behavioral health disorders into adulthood. Additionally, the MHAC will explore the ongoing impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on children’s behavioral health and identify opportunities to support their needs.
- Older Adults – The MHAC will continue to promote the importance of preparing and training local workforces for the behavioral health needs of local aging populations. It will identify and promote federal policies, state policies, and demographic trends that underscore the importance of preparing for this growing population of older adults. The MHAC will also educate public officials and other stakeholders on the need to include mental health and addiction services in all service-planning efforts that support older adults. Finally, the MHAC will explore the ongoing impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on older adults’ behavioral health and identify opportunities to support their needs.
- Substance Use Disorders and Other Addictions – The MHAC will research prevention, treatment, and recovery services and educate policymakers in the Northeast Hub on the complexities and limitations associated with providing these services and the co-occurring nature of these disorders. The MHAC will promote the importance of addressing a wide variety of substance use disorders and other addictions, encouraging public officials to think beyond opiate addiction and to understand the impact of trauma and social determinants of health. Additionally, the MHAC will explore the ongoing impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on SUD/addiction services locally and identify creative strategies to mitigate these damages.
- Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice – The MHAC will work with the stakeholders in the behavioral health and criminal and juvenile justice systems throughout Northeast Ohio to build relationships between these entities, to improve understanding and awareness of the behavioral health needs and networks of care that exist in their local communities and to address access gaps in local justice systems.
- Workforce Development – The MHAC will update its research regarding types of workforce shortages in the Northeast Ohio behavioral health field and identify opportunities to address these shortages. The MHAC will advocate for local funding to support individuals obtaining education or licensure in behavioral health fields and augment reimbursement rates and will support the development of working relationships between the behavioral health community and institutions of higher education in the Northeast Hub. Finally, the MHAC will continue to explore the ongoing impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the behavioral health workforce and identify opportunities and strategies to mitigate the impacts.
- Racial, Ethnic, and Other Disparities in Behavioral Health: Access, Quality of Care, and Outcomes - Recognizing the traumatic impact of racism, the MHAC will research and compile information on racial and ethnic disparities in behavioral health, including but not limited to: prevalence of behavioral health disorders among BIPOC, access to care, quality of care, and outcomes. Whenever possible, the MHAC will identify local information specific to its Northeast Hub counties. Using this information as a tool, the MHAC will identify appropriate action steps related to its findings.
Other ways members are included in local work:
- Members receive action alerts for local policy advocacy, including county budgets, levies, and other local projects.
- Members participate in meetings with local public officials and in-district meetings with state-level public officials.
- MHAC staff consult members regarding local resources and opportunities to highlight best practices and promising programs.
- The MHAC hosts its annual Northeast Hub Public Officials Breakfast Reception every October where MHAC members engage with local, state, and federal public officials during a morning of networking.
- The MHAC hosts four annual membership meetings, bringing in experts on specific topics regarding mental health and/or addiction disorders to present to and engage with members.
- Members have the opportunity to network and share their own initiatives with their fellow MHAC members.
Interested in becoming a member of the MHAC’s Northeast Hub? Read more about who can become a member on our Join Us page.